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Distribution and Productivity Growth: An Empirical Exercise Applied to Selected Latin American Countries

Douglas Alencar, Frederico G. Jayme, Gustavo Britto and Cláudio Puty

Review of Political Economy, 2021, vol. 33, issue 3, 487-510

Abstract: The paper investigates whether productivity growth is affected by the rate of growth of income and by that of employment for a representative sample of Latin American countries from the 1980s to the early 2010s. Having post-Kaleckian models as background, the paper empirically assesses the relationship between these variables, which are believed to be behind the underdeveloped trap, low productivity growth, high income concentration and low-income growth. The results show a positive impact of the rate of growth of income over productivity, the so called Kaldor-Verdoorn coefficient. However, the vast majority of the sample, the effect of employment growth on productivity growth was not significant. The latter results are consistent to the interpretation offered by the Latin American Structuralist School, who has long argued that one of the hallmarks of underdetermine is uneven spread of the productivity gains though the economy. This is the framework used to interpret the results.

Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1080/09538259.2020.1815961

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